Parker upbeat after successful surgery
D-backs prospect already rehabbing after Tommy John
So far, so good for Arizona Diamondbacks prospect Jarrod Parker.
It's been just one day since the right-handed pitcher underwent Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery, so progress can only be described as miniscule, but the D-backs' 2007 first-round pick is in good spirits and is ready to face the challenges that lay ahead.
The 20-year-old had successful surgery on Wednesday and on Thursday early afternoon had already gone through his first rehab session.
"It went well," Parker said from his hotel in Birmingham, Ala. "It was changing the bandaids, getting some movement going, then some ice. I'll head back this afternoon for another session."
Even before he set foot in the rehab facility, he was already letting fans know he was doing just fine, via Twitter.
"Recovering in hotel room watching World Series! Everything went good!" he reported on his account, @JarrodBParker. He added the next morning that he didn't have the most restful night's sleep heading into his first rehab session.
"We're trying to keep the shoulder active, but not disrupt the stitches in there," Parker explained about the early rehab process. "We want to get the elbow straightened out as soon as I can."
Parker had a follow-up phone call with Dr. James Andrews, who performed the surgery, on Thursday. He told Parker he felt the procedure went as planned, without a hitch. He even removed some bone calcifications while he was in there for good measure.
"He is doing well," D-backs farm director Mike Berger said of Parker. "We've had a conversation with him. Both the doctor and the patient feel it went very well. He's in very good spirits and anxious to get the rehab process going."
If all goes well, the hope on both sides is that Parker will be able to get going again next fall, either in instructional league play, which is a more controlled environment, or perhaps the Arizona Fall League, since the D-backs' instructs conclude at the end of September.
"That's the carrot you put in front of him," Berger said. "Whether he gets there, only time will tell. History shows that's fair. If I were in his shoes, that's what I would be looking at. It's an attainable goal. If you get there, great. If not, there's still every reason to believe he'll be out of the woods for a healthy 2011 Spring Training."
For now, though, Parker is looking forward to being a little more ambulatory. As he pointed out in his blog on Thursday afternoon, he had his left leg in a brace because Dr. Andrews used a graft from that leg to repair the ligament in his right elbow. It's a side issue most don't realize about the surgery.
"I'm a little slow right now," said Parker, who admitted he's quite a sight with a sling and cast on one arm, a brace on one leg and one crutch to help him get around. "I should be able to walk in a week."
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.